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We are attending a conference in Bar Harbor in September, and are looking for a quiet, scenic campground with big pull-through sites (40' motorhome with a 19 foot toy trailer). Being near canoeing water would also be nice. What is Bass Harbor campground like? They're on the "Quiet side" of the island. What does that mean? Is it quiet because it is windy? Less scenic? (both are true of the "quiet side" of Door County WI).

Thanks, in advance, for your help.
Cheryl Fuller
Sansouci, sorry I cannot help you with you request for info as I have never been in that neck of the woods. I just wanted to say welcome to our forum. I am quite certain, that with the wealth of information that the guys here have, you will have an answer to your question in no time. Hope to see lots of posts from you in the future.
Bass Harbor campground is an older campground, and their pull-throughs can not accomodate both the motorhome and toy hauler as one unit. The "quiet side of the island" is to mean that the area has less traffic, less people (tourist), but is very scenic with a working fishing harbor, (Bass Harbor), and of course the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. This lighthouse is one of the most photographed, drawn, and or painted in Maine. In September, the island will not be as busy as it is in July and August. Bass Harbor cg is about 20-25 minutes from Bar Harbor proper. There are many harbors where kayaks are used, and could also be canoed. Hope this info answers your inquiry.
We have a 40-foot motorhome and tow a Jeep, and we stayed at Smuggler's Den Campground in Southwest Harbor in August, 2005. They have back in spaces for big rigs, but the sites are narrow, and trees prevent easy satellite reception. It is a good campground for families with kids. We noticed that a lot of the campers were from Maine, which is a good indication, meaning that it is favored by the people who know the area. We scouted out all the other campgrounds on the island during our 2-week stay, and we concluded that this was the best one for big rigs. We also preferred the quiet side of the island over the Bar Harbor area, which is clogged with tourists and tourist shops during the summer. The hiking is amazing, and there are opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. There are also carriage roads, which are paved roads that are closed to automobile traffic but open for horse drawn carriages and bikes. Expect to pay top dollar for lobster dinners on the island.
We have found a few small and medium sized restaurants which are both "on and off island". Some of the establishments are not fancy, but the food is good, and prices are fair. One that we use every year is: Ruth & Wimpys on "route one" north of Ellsworth at Hancock Corners, Seafood Ketch, in the small village of Bass Harbor (can be pricey for evening meals). In the village of Northeast Harbor, The Colonel's Table had good food, with homemade breads and pastries, but have not been there as of late. In the village of Bar Harbor we frequent the Quarter Deck Restaurant for lunch only, as the evening meals are on the expensive side. As for prices, to be on the safe side, ask to see their menu first. Enjoy the fresh seafoods, and the area.
Quiet side also means it does not get a lot of tourists from the cruise ships.
We are very familiar with Bass Harbor campground. It has been a family camp for many years and is a great location for the quiet side, which just means it isn't right on the tourist trap side. You can walk to the Bass Harbor light house form camp and would highly recommend it on sunrise. The park has not been kept up as much as it should have been. It is good for a quick visit ( a night or two) but has been running down hill the last few years. It also would be hard to accomodate an RV over say 33' or more. It is rather tight with the spots and some of the utilities aren't within a decent reach. Smugglers Den is in a more tourist spot, but is rather nice and can take the big rigs with no problem. It is more centrally located to get to the places you probably want to visit. Hope we helped! Enjoy the area, it is quite worth the trip!
We spent last summer at Smuggler's Den while workamping. It is a nice campground with a lot of friendly locals and regulars. It is a regular stop for the free Island Shuttle, and you are close to the market and restaurants of Southwest Harbor. Bar Harbor is just a beautiful 15 minute drive away.
Re: Bass Harbor Campground

Bass Harbor campground was sold recently,(Last couple of years), and the new owner is slowly but surely putting the place back as before the previous owner let it go down hill. Some updates, to accommodate the larger RV's have been made. i.e; 50 amp service, larger sites, and Wifi. It will never be a "resort campground" but will be a good base camp for exploring Mt. Dessert Island and Acadia National Park. We had used this same park for eleven years, but had to find another campground as we had purchased a 36 ft 5'er and at that time the campground could not accomodate us. Had returned this last year, Sept. 2005, with our class A motorhome, and found the accommodations acceptable, but the fees to be on the high side for what the amenities warrant. The monies to restore the campground, to it's former glory, of course have to come from someplace. We would return in the future to revisit the area.
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